[aprssig] "Emergency!" test convention?

Danny danny at messano.net
Wed Jul 21 20:26:45 EDT 2004

Here's my $.02

I work in radio.  I am in charge of the Primary and Secondary EAS stations that serve approx 300,000 people.  

I have fought for years to keep various entities from activating with REAL emergency codes, which they claim are the only way to test the system.   My argument has always been, "If I can hear you, and I can decode ANYTHING from you, as long as your programming is correct for the desired codes, it will go through just fine".

I think the exact same thing applies to APRS.. actually, it may be even simpler.  As WB4APR stated, move to another frequency and test your setup.  If you can decode your emergency beacon, you are at least sending them correctly.  Now, send out a standard message using the same path you programmed your emergency beacon to.  Did it cover the desired area?  Did it make it APRS-IS?  There is NO need to QRM the APRS system with test emergency beacons because it's way too easy to test them without doing so.

This "I have to test it at 1500 watts to blow the dust out of it" mentality just isn't needed.  


Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 5:32:46 PM, you wrote:

K> <Somewhere in Part 97 you will find blurbs about properly identifying
K> emergency transmissions.  That is all that is required here.  No different
K> than identifying your tranmsmissions during the SET as TEST transmissions.

K> The more I think about this proposed quiet time, the more I cringe.>

K> Danny, I understand the cringe and agree with it. On the other hand, there
K> is no way you can "identify" the Mic-E "Emergency!" parameter, except by
K> sending a "Please ignore, testing" message in the body of it. And of course
K> the simple act of doing that, means changing the setup to some extent
K> anyway.

K> Is the better option to simply identify the transmission with a "testing, go
K> back to sleep" message payload? Which will still raise false alarms all the
K> time?

K> I suppose you could try to argue "§97.111 Authorized transmissions. ...(b)
K> In addition to one-way transmissions specifically
K> authorized elsewhere in this Part, an amateur station may transmit the
K> following types of one-way communications: (1) Brief transmissions necessary
K> to make adjustments to the station; " as authorization for the "necessary"
K> testing and adjustment of the station, but that's really pushing things. I
K> found no mention of the phrase "emergency transmissions" at all.

K> IIRC the USCG and international marine policies allowed for this on at least
K> one distress channel, maybe the VHF ELT channel used for aviation? (Anyone
K> remember?) Again, the simple intention is that you can't really test
K> equipment--unless you use it "as is" with no mods.



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